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What do you get a baby orang utan for Christmas? And what does a giraffe put at the top of its list for Santa? Luckily, keepers at Paignton Zoo in Devon can help.

Zoo staff have compiled an Amazon wish list especially for the animals in their care. It means that people can buy their favourite animals the presents they really want, rather than the same old handkerchiefs, ties and socks. But some of the gift ideas may sound rather familiar…

Matthew Webb, Senior Head Keeper of Mammals at Paignton Zoo, is the man behind the list: “Our big cats enjoy aromatherapy oils – they don’t get massages, but placing drops of fragrant oil around their enclosures is a great stimulation for them.

“The macaques would like a bubble machine. Other monkeys would love a popcorn maker – though they always have theirs plain, not buttered or salted - and if you love coatis then a pet puzzle would be perfect!”

Paignton Zoo is a leader in the use of environmental enrichment for zoo animals. This scientific, evidence-based approach to play means that animals are kept healthy and happy through mental and physical stimulation.

Matt again: “The giraffes would love some hay nets, PVC coated wire, a stainless steel pulley wheel and a karabiner so that their keepers can make them hanging feeders. An animal play ball would be perfect for zebras and camels. They can kick them about or use their teeth to pick them up by the handle. They are designed for horses but they are great for more exotic species, too! They don’t need air, won’t deflate and are resilient and non-toxic.”

And those baby orang-utans? Matt: “Orangs are very smart animals, so maybe a puzzle ball feeder to keep them busy. A large plastic Snack ball or a woven willow ball are good ideas for them, too.”

Paignton Zoo’s Amazon wish list can be found here: http://bit.ly/pz-wishlist. You can browse the list to find something suitable for your favourite animal, or choose an Amazon Printable Gift Card to be spent only on animal enrichment.

Quotes Zootastic Paignton! Quotes